Firestone Walker Release of the Merkins

Firestone Walker Release of the Merkins – Velvet Merkin in bottle release Party Saturday September 14th 2013 Firestone Walker Barrel Works Buellton, CA

We got there early and waited in line. At registration they gave us a poster, the card with the beer list and the small tulip glass

There were seven stations and all but one had two beers each.

Station 1: Velvet Merkin Imperial Oatmeal Stout 2013 ABV 8.5% Paired with Merkin Balls filled with bratwurst, potaote, and cheese. This is an amazing oatmeal stout black in color with a thick tan head. I gave it 4 out of 5

Station 2: Luponic Distoration IPA This was paired with Crispy pork belly braised in Luponic Distoration with Char Siu and candied orange zest. I was impressed with this IPA strong hops with a crisp bite I gave it 4.5 out of 5

Dos Osos IPA: colaberation Brew with Revolution ABV: 6.8% paired with Ewenique: Creamy Sheep’s Milk Gouda. I was not impressed with this beer at all don’t get me wrong it is a good beer but nothing special. I gave it 3.5 out of 5


Station 3: PNC Buckwheat Stout Aged in Tequila Barrels ABV: 13.7% Paired with Beef Tenderloin cooked with Velvet Merkin. Black in color with not much of a head. It has an amazing scent of oak and roasted malts. This is my favorite scent of a beer with the oak and hard alcohol scent. The flavor is pure heaven oak hints with toasted malt and sweet agave. This was my favorite beer out of all 13 hands down. I gave this 5 out of 5

Madagascar Vanilla Bean Robust Porter ABV: 5.8% this was paired with Cherry Gourmandise: French Cow’s Milk Cheese Whipped with Kirsh Cherry Brandy. A very good Robust Porter with a hint of cherry. The pairing was the best until the last station and stays second best pairing I the day. I gave this 4.5 out of 5


Station 4: Bretta Weiss Berliner Weiss ABV: 3.4% Paired with Gulf eastern oyster with Bretta Weiss Mignonette. The pairing was good but the beer was nothing more then a palate cleanser. I gave it 3 out of 5

Sour Opal ABV 5.5%
This is a nice light sour ale. I gave it 4 out of 5


Station 5: lil Opal Saison Paired with Lil opal Corvina Seabass ceviche with crispy flour tortilla chips this is not half as good as the sour opal. This was mainly a palette cleanser I am not a fan of this beer. I gave it 3 out if 5.

Barrel 66 4 year aged Imperial Special Bitter This was a great strong beer. A English bitter aged for 4 years makes or a great ale. A dark red almost brown color. Gave this 4.5 out of 5


Station 6: 2013 Agrestic Wild Red Ale ABV: 7% paired with Agrestic glazed Duck Confit with dried cherry glaze, crispy wonton and grilled pineapple mango relish. A light golden brown color. This is a great sour red ale. I have this 4.5 out of 5

Agrestic Barrel #9 Barrel Select Wild Red Ale A stronger sour red ale it’s very good. I gave it 4.5 out of 5


Station 7: Parabajava Imperial Java Stout ABV: 11% paired with parabajava Creme brûlée this is an amazing sour stout with coffee. The scent and taste is of fresh brewed coffee the scent has coffee grounds also. This is also the best pairing if the event this also is the third best beer. I gave this 4.5 out of 5

Forbidden Fruit: Pomegranate Sour Stout ABV: 13% a great sour stout with fruity Pomegranate flavor. I give it 4 out of 5

After the Event we went into the Restaurant so my friend can drink water and I had another beer another Velvet Merkin! It was so good!


Me at the barrel works:

Here are some pictures of inside the barrel works:


Peralta Porter – Santa Clara Valley

Peralta Porter – Santa Clara Valley I have been really into the Santa Clara Valley brewing company. This is their second beer released. They are a new brewery and I have been happy with their releases. I wrote a blog post about their first beer the Electric tower IPA.

Santa Clara Valley brewing is using local history to name their beers. The Peralta Porter is named after the Peralta Adobe which is the oldest building in San Jose California dating back to 1797 and is names after Luis Maria Peralta.

The beer: ABV 6.1% Black liquid with the whitehead but not much of a head. Very thin lacing but washes away quickly. The scent is of cream and prunes. Taste is a strong burnt malts but not over powering a sours strong send Spicy. It has low carbonation and smooth, It is a lighter thiner liquid then I thought. 4 out if 5